There appears to be no end in sight for the current oil price rally or for the bullish catalysts driving it as tightening supply combines with the apparent return of Chinese demand growth, OilPrice said. 

The bull run in oil prices continued this week, greatly buoyed by a string of positive macroeconomic data in China where both manufacturing output and retail sales grew 4.5-4.6% year-on-year, palpably surpassing analysts’ expectations. With Chinese refinery runs reaching an all-time high in August at 15.23 million b/d, China has transformed from an underperforming bearish factor to the largest bullish upside for oil prices, lifting demand optimism despite both Europe and the United States struggling with refinery maintenance. 

OPEC reiterated its bullish view for 2024 oil demand, seeing it rise by 2.25 million b/d citing a swifter economic recovery in major economies despite high interest rates and elevated inflation, with global GDP growth forecast to come in at 2.6% next year.

The chief executive officer of BP Bernard Looney will step down after a 3-year stint at the oil major’s helm, with media reports suggesting the decision comes from his failure to fully disclose past relationships with colleagues. 

US inflation in August jumped to 3.7%, up 0.5 p.p compared to July. A 10.6% month-on-month increase in the gasoline index accounted for half of the monthly gain in the CPI, while core inflation slowed down to its lowest level since September 2021, at a 4.3% annual rate. 

The Panama Canal authorities warned that they could further reduce the maximum number of daily transits, currently down to 32 ships per day, if this year’s unprecedented drought continues to impact the waterway, handling 5% of world trade. 

After Cyclone Daniel swept through Libya’s Eastern regions, leaving thousands dead and missing, the four crude export terminals shut for several days – Brega, Ras Lanuf, Es Sider, and Zueitina – reopened again by Wednesday, resuming loading operations.